Odale Cress: The Care Package Story Project

CarePackageShelburneNewsIndividualized MA student, Odale Cress, is garnering a lot of well-deserved attention with her traveling exhibit, The Care Package Story Project.

Photographs of care packages depict stories about military life and show the diverse cultures that comprise the US Armed Forces.

Check out this piece in The Shelburne News: Handle with care: Military care package art project illuminates diversity within the ranks

 

 

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Posted in Activism, Arts-Based Inquiry, Community Building, Creativity & Imagination, Goddard Graduate Institute, Individualized MA, Odale Cress, Storytelling | Leave a comment

Hunger Pangs and Bio-Navigating the Counter-Intuitive Food System with Jennifer Arlia

Jennifer Arlia and passion fruit

Jennifer Arlia and passion fruit

Jennifer Arlia writes in her thesis, “I love to eat. But anyone who knows me, even if just for an hour, knows this.” Food, an intricate part of culture and identity, especially since for Jennifer, who is part of an Italian family, but she also suffered from food allergies, some  triggered by the very foods that was part and parcel of her daily life and Italian heritage.

Her experience led her to study what it means to eat intuitively for health and

One of Jennifer's portraits of dinner with her happy reflection

One of Jennifer’s portraits of dinner with her happy reflection

life. At the same time, she was was also drawn toward her roots as a visual artist, particularly as a photographer. What do do with all she wrote, read, researched, and photographed? She found her answer in creating a website for her thesis project, Hunger Pants: Bio-Navigating the Counter-Intuitive Food System.

Her website explores three major interdisciplinary areas related to her topic, which she nicknames ComFet (Commodity Fetishism related to food), MoPro (Modes of Production, Skill and Food Origins), and Intuit (Intuitive Perception related to eating). Throughout her thesis, she interweaves slide shows of her startling and vivid photography, occasional recipes for dishes such as “Chicken Soul Soup,” and ample research combined with life expeirence. She also shares her bibliography and annotated bibliography, and thoughtful reflection on writing her thesis. In her powerful photo essay, “Life and Death on the Farm,” she writes:

Another of Jennifer's photos

Another of Jennifer’s photos

 

The farm, also true for other platforms in nature, takes on a broad spectrum of life and death. It is utilitarian and functional, giving to while being part of the wider ecosystem. It is a set of unwritten rules, formed out of systematic (and aesthetic) relationships. Basking in the sunlight or shrouded in fog, the allure of the farm stems from its declaration of life – erotic, vibrant, sentient – and its welcoming of death.

See Jennifer’s whole project right here.

Posted in Activism, Cultural & Cross-Cultural Studies, Embodiment Studies & Body Image, Environmental, Sustainability & Place Studies, Food Studies, Nutrition | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Rewriting Our Personal Mythologies with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, acting program director and founder of Transformative Language Arts, talks about how students at Goddard often rewrite their personal mythologies. Watch this short video, part of a new series filmed by Alexander Love, based on interviews with GGI students and faculty.

Posted in Mythology & the Oral Tradition, Mythopoetics, Narrative Medicine, Narrative Therapy, Poetry, Singing & Songwriting, Transformative Language Arts | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Language of Our True Work with Students Britta Love and Seema Reza

Current students Seema Reza and Britta Love talk about finding the language to articulate their work in the world. Watch these short videos, part of a new series filmed by Alexander Love, based on interviews with GGI students and faculty.

Posted in Transformative Language Arts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Social Innovation: Disrupting Paradigms by SIS Faculty Sarah Bobrow-Williams

The white policeman..finds himself at the very center of the revolution

now occurring in the world. He is not prepared for it – naturally, nobody is -and what is possibly much more to the point, he is exposed, as few white

people are, to the anguish of the black people around him…….

James Baldwin, Esquire, 1960
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What is social innovation? What is sustainability? And, who gets to decide? These questions weave their way through our “SIS” conversations.

Sustainability is about negotiating balance so that neither human or natural life is compromised. When we veer away from the affirmation of life in our systems, be they social or natural, multiple points suffer downstream. According to Donella meadows, nature teaches us that the most awe inspiring intervention in a system is its inherent capacity to transform itself. Meadows likewise proposes that the most powerful leverage point in transforming social systems is disrupting paradigms.

I find myself asking, “what will it take to disrupt a paradigm that upholds the notion that the systemic gunning down of unarmed black men by state sanctioned guardians is justifiable?” It will take nothing short of embracing “Black Lives.” Hopefully the surfacing of “Black Lives Matter” is an indication of our inherent capacity to transform ourselves.

The capacity to transform ourselves, whether we call it social innovation, sustainability or disrupting paradigms, requires openness – a willingness to connect and integrate insights outside of ourselves. Openness is not simply about acceptance, it is about breaking down our immunity and allowing ourselves to engage from the very core of our beings in creative possibility. It is in this space of rawness, and vulnerability and in the spirit of connection, where the possibility for building new relationships and discovering innovative and sustainable ways of doing things emerge.

In what can be termed “the practice of social innovation” there is important work going on around how to facilitate genuine engagement that leads to sustainability – strengthening our capacity for connection and resilience. In the next SIS blog we will hear from Rania Campbell-Cobb,  a 3rd semester SIS student and the recent recipient of Goddard College’s Sustainability Entrepreneurs’ Grant. Rania is the founder of Cloud 9, a non-profit partnership that engages local residents, youth, and a core group of unlikely allies in urban rooftop gardening as a means of nurturing connections essential to re-envisioning new ways of living and being in community.

Posted in Deep Ecology & Bioregionalism, Economics, Environmental, Sustainability & Place Studies, Faculty, Right Livelihood/ Making a Living, Social Innovation, Sustainability | Tagged | Leave a comment

Are You An Undiagnosed Visionary? Sarah Van Hoy on How Goddard Cultivates Visionaries

Are you an undiagnosed visionary? GGI faculty member Sarah Van Hoy speaks here about what kind of education people who, guided by their own visions, need to grow their roots and fruit. Watch this short video, part of a new series filmed by Alexander Love, based on interviews with GGI students and faculty.

Posted in Activism, Community Building | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Pamela McGrath: The Brazilian Martial Art and Dance Form of Capoeira, Healing, and Community

As part of my thesis project, I am creating a short documentary film that is a blend of video footage and interviews that document how the Brazilian martial art and dance form of Capoeira acts as a form of healing movement to cultivate community and foster resilience in youth. The interview process started last winter and the interviews consist of both student participants as well as master teachers from as far away as Brazil and as close as Maine, where I live and train Capoeira.

The primary focus of my research is emotional trauma from loss. When I started out in my research of how healing movement can cultivate community and foster resilience in youth to help heal emotional wounds, I learned that there wasn’t much existing documentation out there to pull from, and therefore needed to create my own. Throughout the interviewing process, I was able to capture this research and document it through video. Along with these interview clips, I’m beginning to blend them with video footage I’ve collected over the years, from Brazil, California, New York, New Jersey and more. In order to capture a wide variety of style and teaching methods, as well as student diversity, I was able to travel to many different states and meet new and experienced students.

10533165_10101813565392269_7333630462614846194_oI think there are lots of arts-based programs that currently exist that allow youth to heal and grow from their practices. My goal is to show that not only the movement of Capoeira does this, but also the natural combination of music, language, singing, and instrument playing that is also vital to the art form. Together, the movement and arts work together to create room for healing and growth. In other martial arts, there is no music component that exists. In some visual and creative art forms, there is no music. In some dance forms, there is no language component. The list goes on, but my contribution to the greater community is that the art form of Capoeira and its unique blend of arts, allows it to naturally be a healing method for emotional turmoil.

There have been many magical moments during the creation of this documentary film, some being the answers that I’ve received during the interviews. Although I had a goal of receiving answers to my questions that would help in my research, I learned about different perspectives and view points from the interviewees. I also learned that many of the interviewees have had a personal experience or trauma that had led them to find Capoeira as a means of self expression and personal healing. I didn’t find this surprising, but rather interesting and exciting as that is the path that led me to this art form—the loss of my mother. The more and more I speak with people and learn about their life experiences, the more I learn about how traumas have impacted their lives and what they did for themselves in order to move forward from sometimes horrific and life-changing experiences. This is the work that I hope to help children and youth with in the near future when my degree at Goddard is complete.

Goddard holds a special place in graduate education, in my opinion. I don’t feel that I would have been able to do this work at another college or in another program. Goddard has given me the opportunity to evolve within my research and path, and this is something I greatly appreciate. As we all change and evolve in our personal lives, it was important for me to know that my educational path evolved with me, and was fully supported by all of the advisors that guided me along the way. Growth, expansion and evolution are encouraged, and because of this and the support of the faculty and advisors, I feel it makes for a very rich experience and education that you can’t find anywhere else. All of the residencies that I’ve been to have opened my eyes and mind to new topics, meeting new people and seeing new perspectives. The low-residency model has also been a perfect match for me as I am able to work on my own at home with the energy and support I’ve received from the residency. The friendships I’ve forged over the past couple years have such strong bonds, and we all work to support each other throughout the semesters. The Goddard experience is truly profound and has made me a stronger thinker, writer and researcher.

Posted in Arts-Based Inquiry, Cultural & Cross-Cultural Studies, Filmmaking, Transforming Trauma | Tagged , | Leave a comment